Approximately 15 years ago I lived on Mainland Australia and working full time. My kids at home were in Year 8 and Year 10. On a Thursday evening I arrived home from work with a sore leg. Next morning I arrived at work, my left foot was cold and numb, the pain in my leg was horrendous. I ended up at the doctors. She rushed me to hospital to see if I had ‘Deep vein Thrombosis’ but the tests came back clear. She could not explain it, but was worried. She wanted me in hospital for tests. I think she was worried I was going to lose my leg. After a week I was kicked out of hospital as they needed the bed for aged care. I left without a diagnosis. I was given a month off work, I wasn’t allowed to walk, and my job involved me walking a fair bit.
Over the next few months, I had test after test, they found I had the True Sciatica. The pain was so bad, from my left hip to my big toe. Panadol and Panadiene Forte was given. I saw a surgeon but he wouldn’t do anything, even seeing specialists in Melbourne. All I was told was I would never work again.
We moved to Tasmania, bought a lovely old home to settle in and to hopefully do gardening, painting inside and work around the yard. I found a great GP who understood me. He referred me to the Pain Management Clinic in Hobart. It was there that I finally recieved a diagnosis. I had 2 collapsed discs, no fluid between the vertebrae, osteoarthritis up and down the spine from the neck down. I ended up having surgery on the collapsed discs, in hospital for many weeks. It didn’t work, so 12 months later they took out what they put in. I was left worse off.
For the last 8 years, I have had to change my medications many times, from Liquid Morphine, to industrial strength Oxycontin, more and more. I am on so many different medications, some days I can’t stay awake. I can’t walk anywhere for too long, I can’t do any gardening, my life went from having lots of friends and going out every day to work, cooking, cleaning etc. To: doing nothing. I lost my friends because I couldn’t sit long enough to talk to them, I couldn’t cook anymore, no cleaning and I had to ask my hubby to do so much, the guilt was eating me up. We tried different things to fix my back to be told that surgery would never help, so I had to learn to cope with the pain.
I met a couple of ladies on facebook, they also suffered chronic pain, so I started a group called “Chronic Pain Sufferers Support Group”, with those lovely ladies, we now have over 180 members and we are there to help. Come and join us if you need to talk.
How do you learn? Who teaches you? I have been to psychologists, they help but sitting at home by myself day in day out, constantly asking my hubby to make lunch, dinner, could he help me into the shower, watching him getting sick because he does so much. At times I thought It would be easier on everyone if I wasn’t around, then Hubby would feel better, he wouldn’t be so tired and busy around the house. Then came the grandchildren, one after the other. Three grandkids live close by, When they come around it lights up my life, I have even lost 32 kilograms with help from a dear friend who lives near Melbourne. She helped me step by step. I walked for a bit to the shops with my granddaughter, they have given me a renewed sense of life. When Bree comes to stay for a sleepover, she just loves her nanna, Chloe loves her grumps. Little Skyla’s second name was named after my second name. I love seeing them, it is amazing what a child can do to you.
I get help now when I need it, I can feel me falling into the deep black hole, so if you go through the same sort of thing please see your GP. If I did commit suicide many years ago, when I first thought of it, I would have missed out on all 7 of my grandchildren. They are all beautiful, whom I love very much. They all give me something to live for. I am and will always be in the same situation with my back and legs, that will never change, but my attitude to life has changed. There is nothing better to have a 4 year old say “I love you so much nan” and a 2 year old say “I love you nan, lots and lots and lots”. My heart melts when I look at photo’s of all of my kids and grandkids.
If you are suffering and need to talk, please message me, or visit my group on facebook, or just ring Lifeline, or visit your GP. There is always someone out there to help. It is hard to see things clearly through the mist sometimes. Thank you.
Posted by dee lindsay, 28th March 2014